Maintaining A 34" Washtub

One evening not long ago, my son Robert told me that he had not eaten any sugar all day long. He had intentionally avoided eating sweets. This is something new for him.

I was kind of surprised and pleased and asked why exactly he had decided to abstain from sugar. “It’s not good for you,” he replied.

Well, we all know that and I personally make a point of avoiding most all foods containing refined white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I have eschewed white sugar since high school, with varying degrees of conviction over the years.

Robert further informed me that he was on a diet, which surprised me because the boy is not overweight. It turns out that he is trying to “get in shape.” He further told me his objective was a “washboard” stomach and he is doing some sort of military workout that will give him the defined abdomen of his dreams. The workout stresses that refined sugars must be avoided.

My son is a chip off the old block. I think most 17-year-old boys are inclined to want to be in better shape, no matter how fit they are, and I was no exception. I was highly focused on fitness in my teens. I never played organized sports but I was into fitness. I told Robert that I had a washboard stomach when I was younger. But now, 30-some-odd years later, my washboard stomach has swollen into a washtub stomach.

Having just turned 51 years old, I am now fighting the Battle of The Washtub Gut.

I weighed 145 pounds and I think I had a 30 inch waistline when I got married at 22 years old. Now I am up over 185 pounds and my waistline is pushing 35. But my jeans are all 34 inches. I have determined that I will NOT buy jeans with a 35 inch waist. I will hold the line at 34.”

I used to work physically every day as a carpenter and remodeler. I did that for over 20 years. Then I got a supervisor job in a factory nine years ago. It is a sedentary job. In the winter months, I get home from work, sit at my computer, and write a book, or this blog, and do not get the consistent physical activity every healthy body really needs. It's a wonder the ol' washtub isn't even bigger.

If I can maintain the 34” washtub until spring, I’ll have garden work to do. Then I’ll be doing the kind of work this body was made to do. It's the kind of work that keeps a body trim and healthy. I always feel healthier when I’m working in my garden. I'm anxious to get back to the garden. I need the garden.

I am ready for spring.


Daniel Way said...

AH yes, the 34" waist. I had one of those myself 38 years ago when I married. After about 5 years of marriage I was wearing jeans with a 36" waist. I wore them for many years and was proud that I was able to maintain a 36" waist line. Finally someone pointed out I was just wearing them lower.

When I hit 48" it occured to me that I was as big around as a full sheet of plywood is wide! That woke me up and slowly, ever so slowly, I am headed back down. Now at 42", I continue to press toward the mark. Oh to be 210 pounds again and wear a 36" waist!

Hang in there Herrick, sppring is a coming!


Mama said...

I'm ready for Spring, too! I wanted to tell you that I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and I have been reading regularly and am enjoying it so much. I am working through the archives now. Always a great read!

Anonymous said...

Yep Herrick (and Daniel above) I feel your pain. I have the "married mans curse" around the middle myself. But, I live in Arizona and we have year round garden weather. I am lacking a good excuse.

Hold that line Herrick! Spring is 'round the corner.

Ralph in AZ

Anna said...

You might enjoy swinging around a sledgehammer:

Takes 14 minutes a day, 5 days a week.


Anonymous said...

My sweetie is trying to hold the line at a size 34 also.... he can't wait to walk in the door at nite and pop that top button!!!...